What does the next generation of cybersecurity look like?
BlackBerry Chief Technology Officer Shishir Singh has some well-informed ideas on the topic. He’s worked in the cybersecurity industry for decades, including a stint as chief product officer at antivirus firm McAfee, and has enjoyed a front-row seat for the technology’s evolution.
“When we started on the whole cybersecurity journey, it was always about protection — not investigation or detection or anything like that,” he says. That was cybersecurity’s first generation, a day and age where many relied on signature-based protection, firewalls, web gateways, and intrusion prevention systems (IPSes).
“But in the last 10 years, I would say it has become important for us to understand detection as part of protecting ourselves. We became a little bit more preventative, and it was all about investigation, not just thinking about a post-breach detection scenario.” This second generation of cybersecurity, as he calls it, was focused on understanding all the important signals we could collect, especially from and via the cloud.
Now he believes we are in the midst of defining a third generation of cybersecurity products and strategies — and this generation will become fully predictive.
“It’s all about predicting the threat before it happens in an organization’s environment. This is possible because of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Cylance was one of the groundbreakers in this space.”
And Singh points out that this new generational shift is empowering organizations to protect themselves like never before.
“We are going to eliminate all the signature-based techniques for protection. Sure, it was fairly easy for you to have a signature where you could determine good or bad, and you have the indicator of compromise (IOC), that type of thing. But now the interesting part is understanding the behavior of that malware before it does anything bad to you, so it’s blocked. That is what prevention is all about. That’s what Cylance brings and it’s amazing. We are building a lot of our foundational technology on top of that.”
Some skeptics might doubt statements about the efficacy of the Cylance® AI technology from BlackBerry, but Singh’s claims are borne out of new, independent research proving CylanceENDPOINT™ is significantly more effective than competing endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) because it blocks 98.9% of attacks.
This was a small part of my livestream video conversation with Singh during the 2023 RSA Conference in San Francisco. We also discussed the three most-attacked industry verticals, the important distinction between “cloud-enabled” and “cloud-dependent” cybersecurity protection, and the idea of an autonomous security operation center (SOC) that operates like a self-driving car. Watch the video now, on demand.
Here is Singh’s final comment to me during our livestream interview — it relates back to the third generation of cybersecurity that he says we are defining today.
“The time has come. It’s time for us to make our malware detection predictive, as well as prescriptive. I think that’s the only way we can solve this problem. It’s the only way we can get ahead of the curve.”